CyberOptics Semiconductor Releases New Software for Drift-Prone Wafer-Transfer Robots

Software engineers at a maker of wireless metrology devices for wafer processing equipment, CyberOptics Semiconductor, Inc., have released and demonstrated software at SEMICON Korea that allows fab process engineers to track and validate wafer-transfer coordinates for handoff robots and establish preventative maintenance (PM) schedules for the tools, according to Dennis J. Bonciolini, the company's CTO.

Software engineers at a maker of wireless metrology devices for wafer processing equipment, CyberOptics Semiconductor, Inc., have released and demonstrated software at SEMICON Korea, TeachReview(TM), that allows fab process engineers to track and validate wafer-transfer coordinates for handoff robots and establish preventative maintenance (PM) schedules for the tools.

The wafer-transfer coordinates for handoff robots change over time as their locations shift during processing due to drift and ongoing usage, according to Bonciolini. Fabs, he said, that are unable to precisely evaluate handoff robots' wafer-transfer coordinates after they've been set effectively experience increased station-to-station variance, wafer particulate contamination and equipment maintenance times.

Bonciolini said the company, a subsidiary of CyberOptics Corp. (NASDAQ: CYBE), developed its TeachReview™ software -- partly due to demand from fabs -- to allow process engineers to efficiently validate established wafer-transfer coordinates and analyze changes to establish PM schedules based on their transfer-coordinate tolerances.

He added that TeachReview allows users to conduct trend analysis of wafer-transfer coordinates by handoff robot and technician to establish fab-wide process controls and support training.

TeachReview works in conjunction with the company's wafer-like teaching device, the WaferSense® Auto Teaching System (ATS). The wireless ATS' on-board camera obtains live video of targets inside process equipment and reports in real-time the ATS' three-axis (x, y, z) coordinates in relation to a target. Engineers use the data to establish precise robot wafer-transfer positions without employing common eyeballing techniques.

The TeachReview application's GUI displays log-file data and image files obtained by the ATS to enable post-teaching analysis and modifications.

"Setting transfer coordinates for each robot is, in many ways, the first step in the teaching process," Bonciolini said. "Re-visiting and applying the data for each robot and set of tools will ensure the ongoing integrity of transfers in a process -- regardless of changes on the floor or among staff."

Engineers from CyberOptics Semiconductor demonstrated TeachReview and the ATS at this year's SEMICON Korea with their Korean distributor, SESO Co. Ltd.

Bonciolini said the company has also released version 1.5.0 of its TeachView™ and TeachTarget™ applications. The upgraded TeachView gives users the option to set the GUI's wafer notch orientation at the original 3 o'clock position, as well as the 6, 9 or 12 o'clock positions to better mirror users' different operating environments. The upgraded TeachTarget allows users to create target-configuration files with both a light target on a dark background and a dark target on a light background.

TeachReview and the upgraded ATS software can be downloaded at http://www.cyberopticssemi.com/techsupport/wafersense/ats/index.php.

The WaferSense ATS is available in 200 and 300 mm form factors and has an accuracy of +/-0.1 mm (X and Y positions) and +/-0.5 mm (Z position).

The WaferSense ATS package includes the teaching wafer, USB-compatible link, TeachTarget TeachView and TeachReview software CD, charging case and suitcase.

The WaferSense family of products includes the Auto Vibration System (AVS), Auto Leveling System (ALS2 Vertical), Auto Teaching System (ATS) and Auto Gapping System (AGS). Each device follows the processing life of a wafer and reports real-time metrology data.

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